San Diego man records traffic stop alleging racial profiling – CBS News 8

Columbus White said he was wrongfully accused of being on probation or parole so police could search him without probable cause.

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego man said he was racially profiled during a traffic stop by San Diego police. It happened in Shelltown on Sunday morning around 9:15 a.m. in the 1700 block of Vesta Street.

Columbus White said when he saw an SDPD officer trailing him with his lights activated he pulled into a nearby parking lot.

White said he immediately got out of his car and started recording the traffic stop.

“I pulled over, got out and grabbed my phone and asked why he pulled me over,” said White. 

Cellphone videos show White ask the officer why he was being pulled over. The officer replies because of a fourth waiver search.  

A fourth waiver search is when someone is on parole, probation or a conditional release can be searched without probable cause. In the cellphone video, the officer tells White that his system shows he is a fourth waiver but White said he is not and requests a sergeant.

“I let the officer know I am not on parole or probation. I’m not a fourth waiver,” said White. 

While White waited for a sergeant he was put in cuffs. He said before he was detained he asked a witness to use his phone to record.

“I asked him if he could hold my phone and record and he said, ‘yeah,'” said White. “I got cuffed up. I complied to everything he said. I did everything.”

Video shows officers swarm the area and one rush at the bystander holding the camera.

The officer makes demands to move back and get away from officers. The bystander is then detained.

White said when the sergeant arrived on scene, he ran his information and was let go.

“He sees that I’m not on parole or probation, I’m not a fourth waiver so he lets me go. I didn’t have to go through that, and he violated me,” said White.

Activists believe White was racially profiled. Tasha Williamson said she filed a third-party complaint alleging this was police brutality.  

“It’s about them having clear concise changes and accountability. It’s about making sure that we are free to travel and we are not,” said Williamson.

Since the case is under investigation, San Diego police would not answer specifics about the traffic stop. In a statement, police confirmed there was a traffic stop at that location and a bystander recorded the interaction.

“[Monday], a complaint was received by the Internal Affairs Unit regarding the traffic stop and conduct of the officers involved. An investigation was initiated, and a thorough review will be conducted to determine if any policy violations occurred. At the conclusion of the investigation, it will be turned over to the Commission on Police Practices for their review and analysis,” said Lt. Adam Sharki, San Diego Police Department.

Activist Malcome Muttaqee said the Black community needs to be seen.

“A lot of times it’s not about going to jail or being killed, it’s about dignity. That’s all. We just want dignity,” said Muttaqee.

White said the fear of driving while Black needs to stop.

“I’m tired, I don’t want the officers to harass me, pull me over, assume that I’m this or that,” said White. “I don’t want this to keep happening. I don’t want this to happen to the next Black man that is out there.”

White said before he was let go, he was ticketed for speeding and driving with expired tags. White showed News 8 a picture of his registration that was up to date. News 8 confirmed his registration with the DMV.